Marek Bartelik

  • “Reflection”

    Exhibitions that feature both local and international art have become increasingly common as centers of contemporary art open in places previously considered peripheral, providing opportunities to see works by artists from different parts of the world side by side. “Reflection,” curated by Peter Doroshenko, president of the PinchukArtCentre (and until recently director of the Baltic in Gateshead, England), and Aleksandr Solovyov, curator of the Pinchuk, presented a selection of works by art stars such as Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Takashi Murakami, alongside pieces by Serhiy

  • Stefan Szczygieł

    Using high-resolution digital technology, Polish photographer and multimedia artist Stefan Szczygieł produces highly magnified images of single objects such as clocks, books, lighters, buttons, coins, and brooches in sharp definition. He ventures into the underworld of these old, disappearing items, revealing their lasting beauty.

    Curated by Marek Grygiel, this well-designed show at the Centrum Sztuki Wspólczesnej—Zamek Ujazdowski (Center for Contemporary Art—Ujazdowski Castle), “Powię kszenia” (Blow Ups), presented twenty-four of Szczygieł’s large-scale photographs from the ongoing series “

  • Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain

    In 2003, Paris-based Brazilian artists Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, in collaboration with Czech artist Jirí Skála, transformed the familiar Helvetica typeface into a new font they called Helvetica Concentrated, turning it into a series of dots; the size of each dot corresponds to the area of the original individual character. Now, for the series “Star Names,” 2007–, the Brazilian artists have used their invention to write the names of 287 stars listed in the Yale University Observatory’s Bright Star Catalogue. By overlaying the dot shaped letters (each individual dot has a brightness of 25

  • “The Garden of Power”

    If there is a perfect city for staging a dialogue between modernist universalism and the postmodernist celebration of difference, Brasília must be it. Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer’s grand project has been constantly disrupted throughout the past fifty years by the city’s growing population and chaotic development as well as by the original buildings’ gradual “postmodern” disintegration. “Jardim do Poder” (The Garden of Power), curated by Felipe Chaimovich, linked Costa’s urban plan to the pattern of the gardens at Versailles, a complex created to reinforce and celebrate the centralized power

  • osgemeos

    Graffiti may still originate as a raw urban expression from poor neighborhoods, but it often ends up in a gallery. Otávio and Gustavo Pandolfo, known as osgemeos (“the twins” in Portuguese), produced a poignant metaphor for that transition in “The Fish That Ate Shooting Stars,” their first solo gallery show in Brazil: They painted a giant head on the gallery’s facade, as if to enter it was to be devoured.

    The brothers transformed the indoor space into a fantastic, oneiric environment filled with sculptural objects, paintings, murals, and a sound installation, producing a sort of contemporary

  • José Pedro Croft

    Blending the geometric and the organic, the sculpture and drawings in this engaging exhibition, which originated at the Museu de Arte Moderna Aloísio Magalhães in Recife and is currently at the Estação Pinacoteca in São Paulo, offer a dialogue with European modern art as far back as Russian Constructivism, and with the tradition of concrete and neo-concrete art in Brazil that is derived from international constructivism—a conversation as much with Max Bill as with Tatlin or Rodchenko. The Neo-concrete link in José Pedro Croft’s work is perhaps most visible in the way he exposes the imperfect

  • Nan González

    Nan González’s videos are programmatically introspective, with their images spatially organized in a wandering, nonlinear fashion, making the viewer intimately reflect with them, rather than searching for larger meaning derived from storytelling. As the narrative in her works is usually fragmented, transparent, and manipulated, we seldom experience a picture as a whole, but more often as an accumulation of details that, subsequently, culminate as pure chromatic and luminous sensations. Whether she uses slow, fast, or regular motion, the images—with or without explicit human presence—convey

  • “Grand Promenade”

    With its off-center position on the international art map, Athens could be an inspiring meeting ground for artists from around the world, allowing their works to be presented in a less hierarchical fashion than might be possible in the centers. “Grand Promenade” (curated by Anna Kafetsi, director of the still-unfinished National Museum of Contemporary Art) included artists such as Janine Antoni, Christian Boltanski, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Anish Kapoor, and Rachel Whiteread as well as many lesser-knowns. By showing a significant number of works with political content, this exhibition leaned

  • “Images de l’Inconscient”

    Although “Images de l’Inconscient” presented 181 works by six artist-patients from the collection of the Museu de Imagens do Inconsciente in Rio de Janeiro, this exhibition paid homage to the work of its founder, Dr. Nise da Silveira (1905–1999)—a devout admirer of Carl Gustav Jung—who might be called an “incurable” psychological materialist. Following in the footsteps of Hans Prinzhorn, author of the groundbreaking 1922 study Bilderei der Geisteskranken (Artistry of the Mentally Ill), and of Jean Dubuffet, she perceived the works of her patients to be “self-portraits of psychological situations,”

  • Krzysztof Wodiczko

    As Krzysztof Wodiczko well knows, Poland’s history abounds in traumatic events. One such occurred on December 16, 1922, when Eligiusz Niewiadomski, a conservative artist and critic, assassinated Gabriel Narutowicz, the first democratically elected president of Poland, in the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw. Wodiczko considers this event a significant moment not only for the history of the gallery—a national monument and the host to this exhibition—but also for that of the nation. “The history of memorials,” Wodiczko argues, “is the history of the machines that only help bad things

  • Alejandro Kuropatwa

    For Argentineans, photographer Alejandro Kuropatwa (1956–2003) embodied a new type of celebrity, born from the freedom and anxiety of the ’80s as the country emerged from military dictatorship. Eccentric, witty, and openly gay, he is remembered as a talented, capricious, and colorful “diva” who enjoyed night life in the company of artists, musicians, and writers, and, with them, members of local high society, all of whom he eagerly captured in his art. Two years after his death from AIDS, this exhibition, “Kuropatwa en technicolor,” paid tribute to this Argentinean original, but—as its curator

  • “Warsaw-Moscow/Moscow-Warsaw, 1900–2000”

    “Warsaw-Moscow/Moscow-Warsaw, 1900–2000” was an outgrowth of the pioneering exhibitions of similar character, “Paris-Moscow” and “Berlin-Moscow,” but its significance was quite different. While the two earlier blockbusters mainly celebrated, and validated, an art-historical division of Europe into “centers” and “peripheries” by the nations that have held claims to the highest achievements of modern art, the Warsaw exhibition, curated by Anda Rottenberg, matched two countries that most of the world hardly perceives as equal—politically, culturally, or artistically. Indirectly, this show reflected